A free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam is to be signed in the coming days.
Minister for Business Heather Humphreys has welcomed the deal, which is the third agreement with an Asian country within the space of 12 months. It follows on from agreements with Singapore and Japan.
“The EU-Vietnam FTA, like the EU’s other trade agreements, will help Ireland’s exporters to expand into a new market which is of critical importance for our continued economic prosperity and in support of our global export market diversification strategy,” Minister Humphreys said.
The EU-Vietnam FTA will eliminate over 99% of tariffs and will unlock a market with huge potential for Irish exports.
The Government has said that the agreement creates opportunities for the Irish agri-food sector, in particular.
There are opportunities for Ireland to grow exports in dairy products, pork, seafood, and alcoholic beverages by taking advantage of reduced tariffs under the FTA. Currently, tariffs on EU exports of spirits to Vietnam are particularly high at 48% and will be eliminated under the FTA. The elimination of tariffs of 15% on frozen pork products is also significant for Irish producers.
The current tariff on chicken is 40%, while on beef and dairy tariffs are up to 20%. These tariffs will be eliminated under the deal.
Outside of the EU, Vietnam is Ireland’s 30th biggest trading partner, with total exports valued at €98m.
Once signed, the agreement will be sent for ratification to the European and Vietnamese parliaments with the aim of enabling the deal to come into force during 2020.